Egger in Hexham on Monday saw the brightest and best minds from forestry coming together to meet, listen and discuss the future of forestry; it is clear from the many experts present that there is great scope to expand the forestry and woodland in the north. There are realistic plans to increase the conifer capacity by
- planting in and around housing developments, enterprise and business parks
- mid hill forestry where the moorland meets the arable and low lying land or where land abuts forestry commission land
- possible new larger forests on sites to be identified and agreed by local councils and interested bodies.
No one is contemplating another Kielder Forest but a smaller forest on a scale of Slaley or Wark is not unrealistic or unattainable in my view. This may need a change in viewpoint by several people or public bodies and possible change in direction but that is what discussion and debate is about. The simple point is this - what are we prepared to do to ensure there is a forestry and timber business in the North well beyond 2030?
Fuller details here: http://www.confor.org.uk/NewsAndEvents/News.aspx?pid=23&id=2641
The event is also front page of todays Courant and reported at length in the Journal.